Archive | Kids Health

Improving Kids Nutrition via Organic & Local Food

I’m just going to say it, and I’m fully expecting to hear your gasps from my computer chair… I don’t think I’ve ever bought organic food and I know I’ve never looked to see if a food item is produced locally.   There, I’ve said it and I feel SO much better.  

When I decided to ‘green’ up my family, I was already on a mission to educate myself and improve my kids’ nutrition.   My sons are always asking me to cook with them and my response is “mommy isn’t cooking….I’m heating things up!”   I really only make Shepard’s Pie from scratch…. everything else is heated or broiled in/on the stove.   I know changes need to come.

I’ve recently been SO inspired after listening to an amazing speaker, a nutritionist named Jen, who specializes in children’s eating habits and nutrition.  I’ve already started begging her to contribute to this site, as her message needs to be heard.  She touched on key points during her presentation of small things you can do to improve the large nutritional picture for your family.  Topics like what ingredients to look for on the packaging of brown bread, the importance of Vitamin D for kids, the top worst foods we feed our children, and when it’s important to buy organic.   I was glued to the information she was presenting and I only wish I had attended her presentation 4 years ago.  I would have done many things differently in my house….  

To kick start healthier habits for my clan, I’m excited to learn that my local Farmers Market begins in early May.  Canadians can check out their Farmers Markets via this site and Americans, click here. I am so excited to start weekly planning of fresh, local, organic, food and will be prioritizing this activity to the top of our busy list.  Weekends are pretty jammed packed with activities, birthday parties, church, but I think the kids will enjoy selecting and learning about where their food comes from.  They are already big fans of farms, so it won’t be hard to start the dialogue of why it is so important to support local farmers and reduce the carbon footprint that importing all our food increases. Local food doesn’t have to travel far, so this reduces carbon dioxide emissions and packing materials

These are the foods that Jen recommended are bought organically.  While I’m at my Farmers Market, I’ll have this list and be on the lookout for some of these local, organic products.  Thanks for this Jen!

Apples
Grapes
Nectarines
Peaches
Pears
Raspberries
Strawberries
Bell peppers
Celery
Potatoes
Spinach
Cherries

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Why Gymnastics For Young Children?

My boys have been inside the walls of a gymnastics facility since they were toddlers.  I was the laugh of a local gym because I was on the trampoline jumping until the week I had the c-section with my twins. <That wasn’t a pretty sight BTW, but it was lots of fun!>  It was a place that my boys (who didn’t follow instruction well as toddlers) could go nuts, jumping into foam, running with wild abandon without anyone getting mad, swinging on ropes like Tarzan, and jumping away the day on trampolines.  A real gymnastics facility is the way to go because everything is padded and safe for children.  Even the trampolines were ground level…taking away the stress even for a little person to jump.  It really helped save my sanity on those long rainy days when the energy level for kids is so high!

The Kerrigans are a couple that have recently renovated and transformed a local gym into a magical place of fitness and fun for children. It is filled with enthusiastic, energetic, and knowledgeable coaches and you can see all of the children having a great time.  Three of my kids take lessons and Sara, the co-owner, was nice enough to outline the benefits of gymnastics for children.  Source: Sara Kerrigan of Kerrigan Gymnastics Academy.

Extended participation in gymnastics classes provides children with many physical, cognitive and psychological benefits. Skills children gain from participation in gymnastics will continue benefiting them throughout their lives.

Physical Benefits:

An increase in muscular strength, flexibility and endurance.
The ability to relax.
Correct body alignment while walking, standing, jumping etc.
The knowledge of how to fall and roll safely.
Increased agility and coordination.

Cognitive Benefits:

Awareness of the body.
Awareness of space and where the body is in it.
Awareness of relationships: body parts to each other and the apparatus.
Awareness of relationships with others.

Psychological Benefits:

The joy of movement mastery.
Discipline and self control.
The exercise habit as a pleasurable daily occurrence.
A confident self image and a positive attitude towards their bodies.
Trust in one’s own abilities: move from a world of “I can’t” to “I can”.

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Canada Is First to Declare BPA Dangerous

Health Canada is first in the world to declare BPA dangerous – making environmental and health history.  What a great move for Canada, as this is the first step towards a ban and this classification could pave the way for BPA to be listed as toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. This would allow our health minister to issue measures for its use. Other countries have been buying into the industry defending that BPA is harmless.  By Canada being the first country to issue such a warning, it will pressure other major regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and its counterpart in the European Union to study again their approval on the use of BPA.

Rick Smith, executive director of Environmental Defense, explained to Globe and Mail that, “Bisphenol A is in every Canadian home. It threatens the health of every Canadian. Moving against it would be a hugely significant victory for public health and the environment.”

Bisphenol A is a “hormonally active chemical” found in almost all plastics and in metal can liners, where it can leach into foods and beverages. Industry maintains that BPA is safe at small concentrations, but concerns about its impact on human health continue to grow. Some experts say it mimics naturally occuring estrogen and according to the 2006 National Geographic Green Guide, animal studies indicate that BPA may cause infertility, cancers, and hyperactivity.

Health Canada’s decision on bisphenol A is slated to be released tomorrow.

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